In absolutely not at all shocking news, Michael Cohen is now claiming that President Donald Trump repeatedly made racist remarks in the years before his presidency. Sure, he’s made them since his election, too, but apparently, Cohen wants the voting public to know about the things that Trump has said behind closed doors.
In an interview that was just published in Vanity Fair, Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer,” and the son of a Holocaust survivor, shared some of those statements.
Cohen said that while he and Trump were discussing the attendees at one of Trump’s campaign rallies in 2016, Cohen made the comment that the “rally looked vanilla on television.” Trump responded, “That’s because black people are too stupid to vote for me.”
Then there was the time, right after South African leader Nelson Mandela died, that Trump challenged Cohen to “Name one country run by a black person that’s not a sh*thole,” adding, “Name one city.”
“Sh*thole” must be a favorite insult of Trump’s, since he reportedly used it earlier this year to describe some African nations. At the time, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that Trump used that word. She did admit, “no one here is going to pretend like the president is always politically correct—he isn’t.” She went on to say that that was “one of the reasons the American people love him.”
Cohen also remembered a time during the late 2000s, when he and Trump were traveling to Chicago for a Trump International Hotel board meeting. Cohen recalled, “We were going from the airport to the hotel, and we drove through what looked like a rougher neighborhood. Trump made a comment to me, saying that only the blacks could live like this.”
The last incident Cohen brought up occurred after the first few seasons of Trump’s reality TV show, The Apprentice. Cohen and Trump were talking about the show’s past season winners and the subject of the first season came up. That season came down to two contestants, one of whom was a Harvard Business School-educated African-American investment manager named Kwame Jackson. Cohen told Vanity Fair, “Trump was explaining his back-and-forth about not picking Jackson. He said, ‘There’s no way I can let this black f**king win.’”
Cohen told Vanity Fair that, looking back, he knows he should have quit working for the Trump Organization when he first heard the racist remarks. But Cohen claimed that he really thought the office of the presidency would change Trump for the better.
So why is Cohen coming forward now? According to Vanity Fair, Cohen said that he knew the statements that Trump made in private were worse than the things he’s said in public, and he wants potential voters to know about them before the upcoming midterms.
If this were another time, another president, another country, these statements would be huge news. But Donald Trump has said many a vile thing during his campaign and after being elected, so who knows if this will affect any voters. Here’s hoping!
h/t Vanity Fair